Feb 172017
 
Theory of a Deadman

“Shape of My Heart” by Theory of a Deadman represents the first single released from their upcoming album which they are currently recording in London. It is a fantastic choice of cover for this band, albeit a surprising departure from their Nickelback-infused originals. Tyler Connolly’s voice sits comfortably in Sting’s range with a more gruff, rocker vibe than the pop infused original.

Much of the heart of the original is kept intact for this cover with a few notable exceptions. The harmonica solo is replaced with some beautifully executed finger picking on the guitar – more Spanish flamenco than Parisian cafe. The constant presence of a shaker only serves to enhance the Spanish feel. Theory of a Deadman adds backing claps and some synth to the instrumental arsenal, filling out the sound. Continue reading »

May 212014
 

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. – Walt Whitman

Today’s In Memoriam is brought to you by the letter B:

B is for Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and blunts.
B is for beats and braggadocio.
B is for Big Poppa, Biggie Smalls, or maybe you know him as The Notorious B.I.G..

Guru may have been the architect, RZA is the scientist, but P-O-P-P-A? He’s the king, and Biggie begat a generation of hip hop artists who are still following the path he blazed. No small feat for a chubby drug dealer who released only one album in his lifetime.
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Aug 302013
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

Jimi Hendrix was only 27 when he died in 1970. Stop and ponder that for a second. An immense talent whose career was tragically cut short more than four decades ago, Hendrix continues to interest and influence musicians and music lovers, and for good reason. Although Hendrix was primarily a rocker, his music was really a fusion of rock, blues, soul, funk and jazz, and probably some other things, too.

“Little Wing” is a concise masterpiece, lasting less than two and a half minutes in its original studio version, which infuriatingly fades out during a guitar solo. It contains a few unmistakable guitar riffs, with a distinctive tone that Hendrix described as sounding like “jelly bread,” achieved by running the guitar through the Leslie speaker of an organ. The song is intense without being frantic, and at the same time is also ethereal and seductive. It also is very much of its time, with lyrics about “butterflies and zebras, and moonbeams and fairy tales.”
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Jan 242012
 

Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Continue reading »

Dec 122011
 

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International doesn’t come out for another month, but the massive four-disc tribute is available to stream below. We’re just making our way through it ourselves, but the Gaslight Anthem’s “Changing of the Guards” and Queens of the Stone Age‘s “Outlaw Blues” are early highlights. On the flip side, Ke$ha‘s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is truly atrocious (though Miley Cyrus‘ “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” isn’t bad at all). For whatever reason, you can stream 60-second excerpts of the first two discs and the full songs for the second two. At 2+ hours of music, though, we think you’ll survive. Stream the album below, then tell us what the best/worst songs are in the comments. (via Facebook) Continue reading »

Nov 282011
 

Can you ever have ever too much Bob Dylan? With the release of an astounding line-up of artists for the latest Dylan tribute, the answer is a resounding – never! Last month we brought you more info on the upcoming Bob Dylan tribute album, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (including Ke$ha’s unfortunate quote comparing her music to that of the legend), but the full tracklist gets us even more excited. Elvis Costello! The Gaslight Anthem! Pete Townshend! Flogging Molly! Kronos Quartet! Continue reading »